Review: R.U.S.E. – Nave360

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Published on October 18th, 2010 | by Ben Gray

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Review: R.U.S.E.

Release Date: September 10th 2010 Genre(s): Real Time Strategy Publisher(s): Ubisoft Developer: Eugen Systems Rating: Teen [Rating:8/10] Real time strategy games often involve you screaming into the earpiece calling out insults at either the AI or online opponents, or so that was the case with the last game in the genre I played, Halo Wars, which is called a ‘toned down’ RTS. So I was expecting rantings and ravings galore when playing RUSE, but I got the opposite. RUSE is a peculiar RTS, as it tries to simplify components of the genre whilst still making it appeal to hardcore strategy fans.

 

The layouts of the maps are set as if a group of commanders, high up in the military food chain, were planning an invasion. A clever little innovation the developer has incorporated is that when zooming out far, your units and the enemies are stacked like checkers, allowing movement to be as simple, or by zooming in to see closer detail and the separation of your units, as complicated as you wish, once again broadening the genre to a wider audience. Cinematics pop in and out in letterboxes from all angles of the screen, which is interesting but sometimes irritating, getting in the way of the action, especially frustrating during a battle. You can simply command one or multiple units thanks to the unit stacking feature with a few presses of the buttons, and instead of having a cursor to navigate and select units like most RTS games, you point the camera in a unit’s general direction to select, which can occasionally become frustrating as the camera keeps snapping onto units you don’t want. The controls are tailored for consoles, as there is nothing wildly frustrating from the immediate start, and the game cleverly introduces concepts as you progress through the campaign.

With its clear presentation and fresh concepts, RUSE is standing out in the pack on these aspects. Of course, cranking the difficulty dial up a notch is more centred on your allies rather than the strength and numbers of the enemy, as teammates will gladly show up to lend you a helping hand in a tough situation without command, whereas towards the difficult end of the scale, they’ll be sitting back enjoying the scenery unless you tell them to do otherwise, and become reliant on your commands. You have your primary objectives, with secondary objectives allowing higher scores based on efficiency and speed on dealing with the sub task. You do feel guided a bit too much, before the action really kicks off in the campaign, not giving much freedom and basically telling you exactly what moves to make. Another innovation in this game are the RUSE spy techniques, allowing you anticipate enemy movements by revealing enemy locations in a specific sector of the battlefield, allowing for some tactical decisions and gives you something to do.

 

The game is rather slow paced, but is made up for with the variety of objectives which can be accomplished, mainly in later missions. The game offers multiplayer of course, which continues the formula across in traditional face offs against online opponents. U-Play support (for those that actually use it) is included, but to me, is just an excuse for a sub-network where you can use points to unlock in game stuff, which isn’t really needed. RUSE takes a while to really kick off for anyone who has played an RTS before, but really does offer innovation and difference in the genre, and is surely worth a go for any fan.

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